Page 330. " the war in Spain "

The Spanish Civil War took place between 1936 and 1939.

The struggle between the Republican government and anti-communist Nationalist forces (sometimes known as insurgents, Francoists or Fascists) culminated in victory for the Nationalists, led by General Franco.

Both sides received support from abroad: the Republican cause was supported by anti-fascist volunteers from many countries who formed International Brigades; whilst various groups, including 700 Irish followers of Eoin O'Duffy, supported the Nationalists.

As Cordelia stayed on in Spain after the Nationalist victory, and was (as is noted later in the text) awarded a medal by the 'authorities', the implication is that she supported the fascist side in the conflict. 


Page 331. " the Peerage "
Coat of arms of the Duke of Norfolk
GNU Free Documentation LicenseCoat of arms of the Duke of Norfolk - Credit: Ipankonin, Wikimedia Commons

The Peerage is the hierarchy of titles conferred by the English Monarch, dating back to Medieval times.

A peer of the realm is someone who holds one of the following titles (in descending order of rank): Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount, Baron.

These titles may be inherited, passed to the eldest son in a system known as male-preference primogeniture. Peerages of this type are hereditary peerages. Traditionally, hereditary peers were given automatic membership of the House of Lords, although this is no longer the case.

Peers whose titles cannot be passed on are known as life peers. They are not considered to be members of the nobility.

Another hereditary title which may be conferred by the Monarch is a baronetcy. Baronets use the title Sir; they are not ranked as peers.

The Peerage is also the abbreviated name of a reference book of British peers and baronets whose full title is Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (sometimes known just as Debrett or Debrett's). This is the meaning of the term here. The Peerage may also be an abbreviation of books in the Burke's Peerage series, such as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage and Knightage which is also a reference book about British titled families.

Page 334. " A journalist in Burgos told me "

Burgos is a city in Northern Spain. It was the base of General Franco's government during the Spanish Civil War.


Google Map
Page 334. " a monastery near Carthage "
Ruins of ancient Carthage
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRuins of ancient Carthage - Credit: Cernavoda, Flickr

Carthage was an ancient city-state situated on the Gulf of Tunis in North Africa; it was established in the 9th Century BC.

One of its most famous sons is Hannibal, a Carthaginian military leader who famously marched an army of men and elephants across the Alps to invade Italy.

Today, what little remains of the ancient city is located in one of the suburbs of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.


Google Map


Page 342. " the game of General Post "

Follow this link to read about General Post, a game in which players representing postal towns sit on chairs and have to avoid being caught by a blindfolded player in the middle as they exchange places.

Page 344. " like 'Blues' and Life Guards with equal precedence "

Blues and Royals Guard
Creative Commons AttributionBlues and Royals Guard - Credit: damo1977, Flickr
 The Blues (also known as The Royal Horse Guards) was one of two regiments which formed The Household Cavalry. The other regiment in The Household Cavalry was The Life Guards. Alongside regular army duties, they formed a personal bodyguard to the monarch.

In 1969, The Blues joined The Royal Dragoons to form The Blues and Royals, which still serves in conjunction with The Life Guards in The Household Cavalry.


Members of the Life Guards Regiment
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMembers of the Life Guards Regiment - Credit: PRA, Wikimedia Commons


Page 347. " a vast velvet tent like the baldachino at St Peter's "
The baldachin at St. Peter's Basilica
Public DomainThe baldachin at St. Peter's Basilica - Credit: Mattana, Wikimedia Commons

A baldachin (It. baldacchino) is a canopy over an altar or a throne. It is sometimes made of cloth, but in cathedrals it may be a permanent architectural feature, in which case it is often known as a ciborium.

St. Peter's Basilica is a church located within the Vatican in Rome. It is considered one of the most holy of Christian sites.

The St. Peter's baldachin is a striking, highly-ornate structure designed by the sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini.



Page 349. " a commission in the Special Reserve "

To receive a commission is to be accepted into the British Army as an officer.

The Special Reserve was a regiment of part-time soldiers, similar to today's Territorial Army, which could be deployed in times of emergency.